Instantly Delicious

We love spicy food at our house. My boys love to outdo each other when eating hot sauce. Even my baby can handle some significant spice.  My mother-in-law contends that her consumption of spicy foods while pregnant caused my husband to be hairy and to love spicy food himself.  While this is probably not true, when it comes to my husband, the hotter the better. We go through a steady amount of Sriracha, Tabasco, Franks, and Nando’s Peri Peri Sauce.  Another favorite condiment is Sambal Oelek, an Indonesian-style chili paste. I recently bought a jar and immediately thought about using it in a marinade for chicken. With the addition of more ginger, garlic, honey, and some other Asian flavors, this marinade was spicy, sweet, and complex. I served the finished chicken over rice, topped with a sweet and spicy chili paste.

 

When I was little, my yiayia used to make what she called, Greek Fish.  Sadly, I do not have her recipe. I do remember that she cooked whitefish in a tomato-based sauce, and it was delicious.  Over the years, I have tried to recreate her recipe and  I feel like the recipe I am going to share is the closest I have come.  I rarely use theInstant Pot® for fish because it is an expensive ingredient and I would hate to waste it on a bad recipe. Now that I have had success with fish in the Instant Pot®, I plan to branch out and try more ideas.

 

Last year, I posted my favorite method for makingCorned Beef in the Instant Pot®.  Since St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, I wanted to revisit the recipe. I still love my original method, because it removes a lot of the salt. This recipe yields a more traditionally salty corned beef but has fewer steps and is still tender and delicious.  My plan is to make colcannon in myInstant Pot® to serve along with it.  Hopefully I can share a recipe for that soon.

 

I always forget how much I love ​Chicken Cacciatore. ​It is so easy to make, full of rich flavors, and can be adapted for the Instant Pot®. ​ Chicken Cacciatore is an Italian stewed chicken that simmers slowly in tomato sauce. It can be served over rice, noodles, or even on its own.  Some recipes call for dusting the chicken in flour.  I never do this, which makes this a great gluten-free recipe.  I think the sauce is thick and rich without any added starch.

 

I am so excited to share this success. I have been attempting some sort of cake-type dessert since I got my Instant Pot® with zero success.  With the exception of the occasional rice pudding or cheesecake, I don’t make dessert in my Instant Pot®. I have tried a few things and failed, so I mainly stick with more savory applications.  The idea of making a small, easy weeknight cake in the Instant Pot® sounds appealing. Almost everyone in my family has their birthday during the first 6 months of the year, mostly in March and April. We end up eating a lot of cake and it gets a little redundant and excessive. What if I could make each person a small little cake for their actual birthday and we can instead splurge on big cakes for friend and larger family parties. My kids might not agree to this, but I think it is a great idea. This little Lemon Yogurt Cake will be perfect for my almost 3 year old. Now that I have had success, I plan to try a couple of chocolate versions to make my boys happy.

 

Super Bowl LI is just around the corner.  We are big football fans in our house. Once we have decided where to watch the game, it is time to start thinking about food.  This will be my first Super Bowl with an Instant Pot®. In the past, I have used my slow cooker to make chili or meatballs.  This year I am making pulled pork sandwiches in my Instant Pot® and am so excited to share the recipe with you.  This sandwich is sweet, savory, full of crunch, and a little messy.  I love it and think it will be the perfect thing to serve on Sunday. Even if you don’t care about football, these sandwiches should be on your to-make list. Yummy.

 

​I love Orange Chicken.  There is an old-school Chinese restaurant in my neighborhood. Its décor has not been updated since the 1940s and they make a couple of things really well – namely Egg Rolls and Orange Chicken.  Orange Chicken is deep fried deliciousness, covered in a sweet and sticky sauce. I only get a craving for it about once a year, which is good, because it’s not exactly a health food. Plus, deep frying is not something I want to take on in my kitchen. I decided to try and adapt the flavors into a healthier version for theInstant Pot®.  It was a huge success.

 

If I  put a recipe on this site, I obviously like it enough to share.  There are at least 10 recipes in my “drafts” folder that aren’t quite ready, or may never be. Many of them are for pork loin. I have not been able to create a shareworthy recipe – until now. ​Instant Pot® Asian Pork Loin ​is a home run. Previous attempts at making a pork loin in the Instant Pot® were dry with a flavorless sauce. If there is one thing I HATE, it is dry pork (I also do not like flavorless sauces.)  This pork was luscious. When served with the gingery, garlic sauce, it made for a real crowd pleaser.

 

Happy New Year! I hope the New Year brings you health and happiness.  In the spirit of good health, I feel like I have to make a little confession. I don’t really like kaleIt’s too bitter, I’d rather eat a potato chip and there are other greens that I prefer in my smoothies, so why do I feel the need to keep trying to like it? It turns out that there are two ways to prepare it that I do not mind, so I guess I don’t TOTALLY  hate kale.  If it is shredded and massaged in tasty vinaigrette, it’s pretty good. I also enjoy it in a soup like this. It holds up really well pressure cooking in the Instant Pot® and seems to lose some of its bitterness as it cooks. 

 

Eggnog ​is ​such a controversial subject.  People either love it or hate it – I find there is no middle ground with this sweet, creamy, holiday beverage. We are an eggnog family.  Every Christmas my mom brings out the vintage cut-glass punch bowl, the spiced rum, and the nutmeg grater, and sets it all up at the bar. Everyone has a glass or two, and then we are finished until next year.